Health Innovation School


Why was the Health Innovation School created?

This program was developed in response to the amount of change confronting organizations, patients and people that make up the Dutch health and care system. The pace, magnitude and complexity of disruption coming to the health system is beyond anything we have experienced in the past century or more (as has already happened in other core systems of Dutch society – retail, banking, manufacturing and other sectors).

So many elements are NEW: new entrants into health(care), new business models, new conventions, new health professionals’ roles, new patient needs and expectations.

The Dutch health(care) system as a whole, and nearly every organization and player within it are turning to innovation to cope with – and remain relevant within – this rapidly changing environment.

Innovation is now a competency necessary for everyone across health and care, no matter what role or level.

Unfortunately, available courses, master classes, and HR systems were not designed to build and enable innovation leaders. This advanced and highly specialized training program fills this vital gap in teaching future leaders “how” to enable and lead innovation across the Dutch health (care) system : cure, care, mental health and prevention.

Who is leading this effort?

The Health Innovation School is jointly developed by:

Innovation team of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, under the leadership of Erik Gerritsen and Karen van Ruiten.



The Radboudumc REshape Center, with leadership from Lucien Engelen (Director) and Robin Hooijer.

Who else has been involved?

Patients – The Health Innovation School follows the #PatientsIncluded guiding principles. This means that patients are central to the design of the program, are involved in delivering components of the program, and are participants in the cohort. The School is very grateful for the guidance and direction of Anne-Miek Vroom and the IKoNE team who generously offered to form a patient advisory panel. They have been providing expert guidance on respecting PatientsIncluded principles. Meet the patient and family advisors here!

Health Professionals – An advisory committee of doctors and nurses who are Fellows with the Radboudumc REshape Center helped shape the program to ensure it would be relevant and value-added from the perspective of health professionals who care for patients.

Advisors – The Health Innovation School conducted outreach to key experts, innovation practitioners, patients and leaders from across the Netherlands to give guidance on the program design. These include:

Faculty (Trainers) – Faculty from the Netherlands and international expert centers have been recruited to design and deliver components of the program. More information on faculty can be found here.

Coaches The Health Innovation School is partnering with the Rockstart Digital Health Accelerator to train a team of coaches who are experts in human-centered innovation. The coaches will support small teams of 4-6 participants in working through milestones for their Action Project, providing hands-on support for up to four hours per month per team. Through onsite and remote support, coaches will help the teams model and reinforce the concepts, methods and mindsets they learned in the in-class training sessions.  Meet the coaches here!

Design Features of the Health Innovation School

The Health Innovation School was developed with input from patients, health system players, health professionals, academic experts in health innovation and other health innovation leaders and experts in the Netherlands and globally. The overall program design is rooted in the following design principles:

  • Patients Included: All elements of the program design and delivery will be shaped by needs and experiences of patients, families and informal caregivers. They will be faculty and participants.
  • Clinicians Included: Health professionals help shape the program and are active participants.
  • Cross disciplinary: The perspectives of colleagues from different organisations in the health system are central to training, via active team project work and exchange opportunities.
  • Support: Participants are supported by executive faculty form the Radboudumc REshape Center for Innovation, (inter)national guest faculty and innovation coaches. All participants also have unrestricted acces to rich references materials and and learning guides.
  • Guided social learning: 21st century social networking and collaboration tools will be used throughout the course to model the behaviours and tools that health innovators use in their daily craft. These include the use of Flipboard, Slack and other collaborative tools during the course.
  • Complementary: The program complements and leverages other available training in aspects of health innovation in the Netherlands and globally, with an unique focus on how to do and enable innovation from a system lens.
  • Prototype: As the curriculum is in the first year of bing offered it is being developed as a working prototype that will evolve in co-creation with the participants. It will be peer-reviewed by the innovation teams of more than 40 leading international health systems at the Innovation Learning Network conference, to be hosted by the Radboudumc REshape Center for Innovation in this first year.
  • Free: Outside of the time commitment to complete the in-person sessions and virtual work, there is no charge to participate in the School in the first years.

For more information

For more information about the Health Innovation School, please review this background document that was shared in a public information session on May 1, 2017. The video recording of the public information session can also be viewed here.

For further details, visit the Frequently Asked Questions or contact us.